Sen. Marco Rubio was one of just 16 Senators to vote against a new spending deal to avoid another shutdown that included a compromise on border security in lieu of President Donald Trump’s demands for a wall.
The Florida Republican said he voted against the package because it didn’t include disaster funding for victims of Hurricane Michael.
“Three weeks ago, Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly to help Florida communities devastated by Hurricane Michael,” Rubio said. “But now congressional negotiators failed to include disaster funding in this package so they can use it as leverage in an upcoming effort to lift spending caps. I will not support using devastated communities in Florida as pawns for some future legislative deal.”
Rubio’s Florida counterpart in the Senate, Rick Scott, voted for the measure.
After the vote, Rubio also raised constitutional concerns on Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency and use disaster aid to pay for his wall on the southern border.
“We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Rubio said. “Today’s national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal. I will wait to see what statutory or constitutional power the President relies on to justify such a declaration before making any definitive statement. But I am skeptical it will be something I can support.”
Scott had previously voiced called on Trump to declare such an emergency to “fund border security.”
“I know there will be critics that say the President shouldn’t do things like this by executive order. And they aren’t necessarily wrong,” Scott said on Jan. 31. “President Trump proposed logical solutions, and if the Democrats won’t negotiate with him because their judgement is clouded by their pure hatred of him, then the President needs to move forward.”